Armoured now in militant reds
soldiering against the sun
on bright days,
when the wind is dry and brittle.
The greens have long retreated
into rings of spine
within lonesome trees
echoing into etched bark,
the songs they will sing next spring.
All that remains are markings of age.
Forgiving yellows whispering to icy chill
how lost they feel on leafy pallettes,
that are preparing to drift down slowly to claim earth.
Is that why they call it Fall?
In late-summer to early autumn (August to September), leaves exposed to direct sunlight turn reddish-purple due to the accumulation of anthocyanins in their top surface, whereas the lower surface remains green for as long as 3 weeks. Shaded leaves do not accumulate anthocyanins and turn yellow as they senesce (1). Anthocyanins are important phytoprotectants (2).